Interview with Ronald Griffin, January 27, 1983

After attending Leestown Junior High, Douglas High School, and graduating from Lexington Bryan Station High School, Mr. Griffin spent four years with the United States Air Force. He became active within the NAACP (National Association for The Advancement of Colored People) while at Eastern Kentucky University working at various levels. This activism included participation in the Student Union protests on the Richmond campus and civil rights lectures from Shirley Cunningham and Julius Berry. He discusses the impact of the civil rights movement on Lexington and reflects upon the bombing of Palmer's Drug Store. He recalls his impressions of the NAACP at the beginning of his involvement; his presidency and the goals he accomplished. Mr. Griffin believes in leadership by example and counts the increased growth of membership; the increased credibility and respectability; and the improvement of bonds with the African American churches among his proudest achievements. Under his administration, the NAACP built up the treasury; maintained an office; expanded community outreach programs; started the Academic, Cultural and Technical Olympics; and augmented voter registration and education programs. Attempts were made to improve relationships with the business community; to erase housing discrimination and encourage political activism by the African American community. Mr. Griffin identifies the other civil rights organizations which had a part in African American progress; enumerates the civil responsibilities of the African American community; evaluates the progress in Lexington since 1945 and after 1970; and discusses some of the unique aspects of life in Fayette County. He comments upon the relatively stable employment at IBM, the University of Kentucky, the Fayette County School system and the thoroughbred horse industry. The affirmative action program at IBM is mentioned as is the importance of the thoroughbread horse industry in Lexington. Concerned about the decline of African American participation within this business, Mr. Griffin would like to see organized programs to encourage African Americans to become trainers, jockeys, owners and breeders. He considers parity in education to be of vital importance for economic growth and desires greater participation by the African American community in solving social problems.

Interview Accession: 
Interview Date: 

Submit a request for access to a copy of this interview. If you do not have an account, you will be prompted to set up an account in order to submit this request. If you already have an account, log in to your account when prompted.

To request an interview using our request system, you have accepted (or for first-time users you will need to accept) the terms of our user agreement below.


This AGREEMENT is for materials whose intellectual and physical property rights reside with the University of Kentucky (UK) through creation, purchase, gift/donation, or has been assigned to the University of Kentucky for the purpose of research or publication.

Use of materials is expressly limited as described in this user agreement. As a condition of UK providing recorded interview(s) THROUGH THIS ONLINE PATRON ACCOUNT OR OTHER DELIVERY METHOD, and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such, you agree to strictly abide by the following:
Copyright to the recorded interview(s) and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such remains with the University of Kentucky and when use is permitted appropriate copyright credit must be given to UK:

© University of Kentucky, all rights reserved, (Project Name), Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

WHEN permission is granted, it is for one time use only and any subsequent use, including reproduction of recorded interview(s) and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such will require an additional user agreement.

While the University of Kentucky asserts ownership of the items, your use of the recorded interview(s) and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such is strictly at your own risk. The user agrees to hold harmless UK, their officers, directors, employees and affiliated entities, any and all of them, against and from any liability, loss, cost, or expense whatsoever, including attorney's fees, arising out of or relating to use of the recorded interview(s) and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such. UK is solely responsible for making the recorded interview(s) and/or subsequent transcript(s) of such available to you pursuant to this user agreement.

User agrees that any violation of this user agreement will cause irreparable harm to UK, agrees that injunctive relief (a court order directing that you cease activity) is an appropriate remedy and consents to such relief. Injunctive relief will be in addition to any and all remedies that may be available.

I understand that I must provide the University of Kentucky Libraries two (2) copies of any published work (includes books, journals, pamphlets, flyers, buttons, labels, video productions, etc.) free of charge. Ship to the address below:

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History
Special Collections
University of Kentucky Libraries
Margaret I. King Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0039



Persistent Link for this Record: